(Ottawa) Officials pose a threat of growing for the safety of government, Ottawa believes that multiplies steps to tighten security and surveillance within the federal government.
By July, all government employees will be required to provide fingerprints for checking their criminal records by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), La Presse has learned.
This approach is part of the new security screening standard, presented in October and created a new system to test the honesty and reliability of the members of the public service, including credit checks, monitoring social networks and obtaining fingerprints for all government employees.
There are a few weeks, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the union representing 60,000 professionals and scientists members of the civil service, demanded an injunction from the Federal Court to block the implementation of this new standard.
In an affidavit filed in the record, the senior official responsible for administering these changes justified by the “the growing threat from the internal” hovering over the federal public service. Rita Whittle gave the example of the military Jeffrey Delisle, sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2013 for passing confidential information to Russia.
“There is an increasing number of incidents of social engineering and internal threats involving the handling of employees within an organization so that they perform actions or divulge confidential information. They feel aggrieved, or are subordinated or infiltrators, insiders who engage in activities in ministries and agencies have become a source of major concern, “said Ms. Whittle in the document court.
The Treasury Board defines “social engineering” as “a practice that aims to extract confidential information by manipulating legitimate users. […] Phishing is a form of social engineering. ”
Thus, a real combat commotion seems to shake the federal government for a few months in order to tighten security and surveillance, according to various documents obtained by La Presse. The measures include increased security coordination in various federal departments and agencies by the Privy Council and increased use of polygraph tests for some officials to the highest safety ratings.
Brendan Heffernan, a senior RCMP officer who is responsible for security screening program for government employees, said in an affidavit that the fingerprint system for verifying the antecedents will be more efficient and leave less room for error than the one based on the background check by name. Mr Heffernan said the police force will not create a database with biometric information, that soon will destroy the check is complete.
The same affidavit also confirmed that “under the 2014 standard, credit checks are required for all positions,” the federal government. A doubt remained as to the extent that these checks take.
All of these measures raise concerns on the part of unions and even the Commissioner for the Protection of Privacy in Canada.
At the office of Commissioner Daniel Therrien, a spokeswoman said that consultations are ongoing with the Treasury Board Secretariat. “We have discussed with representatives of the organization of several measures provided by the standard. We then expressed our general concern and asked for documents that would show the necessity and effectiveness of new measures, including the widespread use of polygraph tests for all government employees requiring security clearance to top secret – depth “said the spokesman, Tobi Cohen.
Unions representing federal employees, including PIPS, also maintain them significant fears. “There are several changes in the new security screening standard Treasury Board that are unjust and unreasonable, which are too intrusive in terms of privacy and that I think violates the Law on the Protection of Personal Information and the Charter [Charter of Rights and Freedoms] “denounced in a sworn statement of the union’s legal counsel, Martin Ranger.
– In collaboration with William Leclerc